Is there a line each morning at the coffee machine in your workplace? Do your employees joke that they can’t work—or even get out of bed—until they get their cup of Joe? By early afternoon, does the coffee pot need to be replenished?
If this sounds familiar, your employees are among the 82 percent of Americans who consume 2.1 java drinks daily—with consumption increasing with age, according to Zagat. Indeed, there’s even a holiday called National Coffee Day. But beyond the energy boost your employees seek, there are actually many health benefits of coffee in the workplace.
While coffee has been shown to boost energy levels, it also serves to relax and de-stress many employees. And there’s a social aspect to drinking coffee, which aids in company culture and is mentally comforting to employees. Hence, the routine of “taking a coffee break.”
Protects Against Diseases
Coffee contains antioxidants that help protect against diseases. According to a study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, drinking four or five cups of coffee daily has shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease nearly 50 percent in comparison to zero or small amounts of caffeine. It also can result in a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Boosts Productivity and Energy
As a stimulant, the caffeine in coffee increases your employees’ energy levels to help them become more alert and productive. This explains the feeling of a need to drink coffee to keep going strong. And some say it may help your employees to learn new things faster, as caffeine has the potential to improve short-term memory and problem solving.
Caffeine Has Limits
Your employees’ tolerance levels to drink coffee and still function properly without feeling jittery may vary. Still, there are suggested limits for everyone. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine—roughly four cups of brewed coffee—is considered “safe.” Flavored, sweetened coffee contains more sugar and isn’t necessarily healthy, as compared with drinking it straight black. Like any caffeinated drink, addiction is possible with frequent consumption.
So it’s OK if your employees have a cup here and there, as the health benefits of coffee are numerous. It’s just important to consume it in moderation.
Daniel Vahab is a multiple award-winning communications professional with Fortune 500 and major brand management experience. He is also a freelance writer, published in numerous top-tier publications such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Mashable, PBS, Yahoo! News and U.S. News & World Report.